I get daily questions from folks who want ideas on how to save money in today’s economy. When I get asked that question, the first thing I usually say is the best way to save money is to spend or waste less.
At least that seems to be what works best for me. But I think of myself as conservative, while others think of me as cheap. And that’s OK. I’ve been cheap, I mean conservative, all of my life, so I’m sort of used to it now.
Another way to save money is to use less electricity. For example, I usually set my thermostat to 75 degrees or higher during the day and no lower than 74 degrees at night. I agree. It isn’t as cold as I would really like for it to be, but it could always be a lot hotter. Think about it, if your air conditioner goes out all together, 74 will seem like wintertime. I also converted most of the bulbs in my house to energy-efficient bulbs. It has been said that switching one regular bulb to an energy efficient bulb can save up to $30 per year.
I also close the blinds to my house during the day during the summer months and open them during the winter months. This allows the sun to heat your house in the winter, and the closed blinds keep it cooler during the summer. During cooler summer months, I turn the air conditioner off entirely and open the windows.
Here are some more money-saving ideas:
• Don’t leave water running when you shave or brush your teeth.
• Turn water heater temperature back.
• Take cooler showers to save on energy. It’s actually even better for your skin.
• Leave and use less lamps or lights during night hours while home.
• Remember to turn lights off when a room is not in use.
• Unplug rarely used electronic devices.
• Clean air filters regularly.
• Seal all gaps around windows and doors.
• Drink water while dining out instead of sodas or tea.
• Turn off the television and play board games or read.
• Clip coupons.
• Haggle for better deals. It’s always no unless you ask.
• Shave your head to make you more aerodynamic – just kidding.
• Keep oil and air filters changed and tire pressure checked.
• Take extra stuff out of the trunk of the car. More weight burns more fuel.
• Keep the car clean and waxed.
• Keep windows up on the interstate and down within the city to avoid using the air conditioner.
• Spend your money in your own community to avoid longer drive times and taking your sales tax money to another community. This saves us all money in the long haul.
• Don’t waste any of your 86,400 seconds per day. Time is money.
As you can tell, I could go on and on about saving money. What you save today by becoming more efficient and wise, you can use to dine out, go to the movies and have more fun with your family and friends. So please look at saving money on other stuff as a great way to pay for a date night, a movie and new car or whatever you want. Wasting less is a great way to save and do more, all while helping out the environment.
Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.